$2 Million House “Staves Off Death”?

Transmitted on Nov 30 2008 to design & architecture

“If we change what surrounds you, we can change you”, says Madeline Gins, designer of this strikingly bizarre home. Bright, unusual colors, mountains in the living room, misaligned power outlets, and uneven surfaces make even mundane tasks into a challenge. The idea behind building such a monstrosity? Those constant challenges help keep your body and mind in a state of alertness, prepping them for stress and keeping you focused in the present. Nothing is simple; therefore, nothing becomes automatic.

A man who volunteered to stay in the house, known as Bioscleave, described the experience as a continual effort. “Constantly you’re getting this contrasting information. [...] You either collapse, or you have to figure it out a different way.”

The team of Gins and her assistant, the artist Arakawa, have spent four decades studying ways “architecture might best be used to sustain life,” according to their website. That’s all well and good, but does constant confusion really help boost the immune system as they claim?

Are Gins and Arakawa just nuts, or are they on to something? Let me know what you think in the comments.

(via Wired)

Illusory Designs & Mind-Hacking Carparks

Transmitted on Aug 09 2008 to design & architecture

Axel Peemoeller’s phenomenal treatment of Melbourne’s “Eureka” carpark uses distorted signage splayed across entire walls, beams, and floors; nearly illegible at close range, at the right height and distance the words become two-dimensional, literally “popping out” of the walls and directing drivers where to go.

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Peemoeller says that the design has one “numerous international awards” but has not mentioned which. The amount of work that went into this is clearly worthy of such awards! I’m still not entirely sure how a project like this gets put together.

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I would especially love to see this in motion–watching the perfectly-clear letters begin to distort and flicker into meaninglessness would be amazing. Any Australians want to put up some video? :)

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An Incomplete Manifesto

Transmitted on Apr 07 2008 to media & communication

Over at ArkiBlog is an intriguing collection of Canadian designer Bruce Mau’s thoughts on creativity and growth. Written in 1998, Mau calls this document the “incomplete manifesto”. Some of his ideas are particularly astute (numbers 1, 6, 18, and especially 29 and 42). What do you think?

1. Allow events to change you. You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.

2. Forget about good. Good is a known quantity. Good is what we all agree on. Growth is not necessarily good. Growth is an exploration of unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you stick to good you’ll never have real growth.

3. Process is more important than outcome. When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we’ve already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to be there.

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